Is Time at a Drug Rehab Treatment Center Really Necessary?

Addictions Content Team Info icon
Calendar icon Last Updated: 09/16/2021
recovery help and treatment
Fast, Free & Confidential Help Is Available 24/7.
Call now for:
  • Access to the Best Rehab Centers
  • 24 Hour Support when YOU need it
  • Financial Assistance Programs
Who Answers?

According to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, over 83 percent of people try alcohol before they are 25 and over 50 percent try illegal drugs. Despite these alarming statistics, not everyone who tries drugs or alcohol needs a drug treatment facility. Many of them do not become addicts. Of those who become addicted only a small percentage of them need a drug treatment facility. Therefore, the question becomes, when is a drug treatment facility necessary.

The need to go into a drug rehab varies with each individual. Whether or not time at a drug rehab treatment center is necessary depends on the addict and the programs the rehab center offers. In order to determine the necessity, consider the user and the drug treatment facility.

The User

Many drug and alcohol addicts do recognize when there is a problem. Although the initial reaction to drug and alcohol abuse is that the user needs a rehab facility, this is not always true. Many times, the cookie cutter version of drug treatment that many facilities offer does not work.

Which treatment options failed?

By looking at which drug treatment options fail the individual, it is possible to determine whether a stay in a treatment facility is necessary. A treatment facility may be necessary if they have tried and failed at treatment options like:

  • quitting cold turkey on their own
  • quitting cold turkey with help
  • a doctor centered drug treatment
  • outpatient drug treatment including:

Their failures at these methods indicates that a more intensive program is necessary for them to recover. Usually trying everything else and failing is a sign that a drug treatment facility is necessary.

Which treatment options helped?

By looking at which treatment options helped but did not work completely, it is possible to see if a stay at a rehab is necessary. Sometimes certain aspects of a drug treatment program work while others encourage the user to go back to the drug. A drug treatment facility may be necessary if:

  • intensive counseling helped,
  • relocation helped,
  • group therapy with other addicts helped,
  • if they went back to using, after being helped by outpatient replacement therapy, and
  • if the drug use permeates their life causing relapse when confronted with family, friends, work, and triggers in the neighborhood.

Some aspects of the different therapies work for an individual while others do not. It is important to take a look at those that helped to find out whether time spent in a rehab facility will be beneficial.

The Facility

Many people worry about the cost of a treatment facility and ask themselves is the price that they are paying worth it. If the facility helps prevent relapse then yes it is probably worth the money spent. The type of facility is integral to figuring out whether or not time spent in the facility is truly necessary. Many drug treatment facilities offer different forms of therapy. If the form of therapy matches the drug user’s needs then the facility might just work. Without matching these needs with the facilities programs, a treatment facility is wasted time for that individual.

What programs does the treatment facility offer?

Most facilities offer multiple programs. These programs range between short and long term treatment options. Many treatment facilities offer:

  • Partial hospitalization – This is important for users that need medical supervision. The reasons for this can be:
    • multiple disorders,
    • complications of drug use, and
    • monitoring drug replacements.
  • Inpatient counseling – inpatient counseling is very important if the user cannot cope with the outside world. Without the coping skills taught by the facility, the program is doomed to fail in this case.
  • Halfway houses or sober living facilities – if returning to the scene of the abuse right away is going to cause relapse a halfway house might be needed. These give the user a chance to adapt.

It is important to consider the users living conditions. If the user has a job that they cannot be away from for drug treatment an inpatient facility may actually make things worse. If the drug use is severe and other options do not work then the time in a drug facility may make things better.

Are the programs offered compatible with the user?

Finding out which programs are compatible to the user and whether or not the facility offers those programs is integral to deciding if time spent in a facility is really necessary. If the user is not medically needy then partial hospitalization is a waste of time and money. If the user does not possess proper coping skills then inpatient counseling and inpatient living will help. The point is to keep the user from relapsing. If they need to be away from their neighborhood, living quarters, or friends and family, then time spent away from them in a treatment facility is necessary and will help to prevent relapses.

It is extremely important to remember that the treatment needs to match both the addiction and the user. According to the Time Magazine article “What Really Goes on in Drug Rehabs,” many of the people suffering from substance abuse disorder do not need a typical drug treatment facility. This means that the treatment facility needs to match the user’s needs. Time in a drug rehab treatment center is only necessary when other treatment options have been tried and failed, and when the type and style of the facility matches the users need.